by Teresa Genaro
“The best two-year-old debut of the summer, of either sex.”
That was the word on Feedback last August at Saratoga, when the dark bay filly broke her maiden at first asking in a 6 1/2-furlong race over a fast track, leaving the runner-up, a next-out winner, behind her by eight lengths.
Trained by Chad Brown and owned by Klaravich Stables, she was remarkably not the favorite that day, but the buzz was immediate and loud, with great things predicted for her future.
He need not have worried.
As she did at Saratoga, the daughter of Violence went to the front, but Fashion Faux Pas wanted the lead, and Feedback and Irad Ortiz Jr. let her have it. Sitting a length from the lead, Feedback easily passed Fashion Faux Pas but was immediately challenged by Bye Bye J to her outside.
Both fillies dug in, Feedback refusing to yield, Bye Bye J refusing to surrender. At the wire, it was favored Feedback by a half-length.
“I’m happy and relieved,” said Brown, “because this horse I really didn’t have quite enough works into her where I really wanted to run her quite yet, but looking at the schedule and trying to hopefully get her on the (Kentucky) Oaks trail, I figured if we don’t get her started this weekend, it was going to be hard to get there. We were a little short on works, but she showed her class and her ability to overcome it.
“I thought she was very vulnerable the last sixteenth…but she dug in and showed her class.”
Remarking that she was tired after the race, Brown will determine how Feedback comes out of the race before setting her next target. If all goes well, she’ll return in the Davona Dale (G2) on March 2 back at Gulfstream.
Feedback was bred in Kentucky by Wolverton Mountain Farm and Cameron Wheeler. She is out of the Tale of the Cat mare Honest Answer, and Klaravich paid $85,000 for her at the 2016 Keeneland November sale.
Feedback picked up 10 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points for the win. Behind her in the order of finish were Bye Bye J (four points), Champagne Anyone (two points) and Jeltrin (one point).
One race later, Call Paul returned to a distance he prefers and made it two straight when he won the Swale (G3) by 1 1/4 lengths, running his record to four wins in six starts.
Sent off as the favorite in the seven-furlong Swale, the Pennsylvania-bred raced midpack under Irad Ortiz Jr. before rallying wide to take the lead. The bay colt notched his second stakes win for owners Michael Dubb, David Simon, Bethlehem Stables and Bruce Irom.
By Friesan Fire and out of the Forestry mare Avani Force, Call Paul won his first two starts, one at 5 1/2 furlongs, one at 6 1/2. Stretching out to a mile in the Champagne (G1) and Nashua (G2), he finished third both times before cutting back to seven furlongs in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes, winning it by five lengths.
The Swale is Call Paul’s first start of 2019.
Purchased as a yearling for $20,000 by Grassroots Training and Sales, Call Paul was pinhooked at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of two-year-olds in training, at which Dubb paid $210,000 for him.
The Swale win gave Ortiz a stakes daily double. He has ridden Call Paul in four of the horse’s six races.
“He’s done really good up to a mile,” Ortiz said. “I don’t know what the owner and trainer want to do, but he’s nice horse at seven-eighths, a flat mile. Whatever they want to do, I’m going to be happy.”